Pool Safety is no small matter, and protecting your kids as they take to the water during the summer months is essential. Young children have difficulty discerning danger, so it is wholly the adult's responsibility to protect and establish preventative measures to assure their safety. Every year about 43,000 people are injured in and around swimming pools and more than 600 people drown in home or public pools. However, this frightening statistic is largely preventable with proper pre-emptive measures.

It is important that we know CPR and other life-saving techniquesAccording to Torah law, we need to take care of ourselves, and also do all we can to prevent others from being hurt. There are numerous commandments about establishing safety measures on our properties so that even the unsuspecting and oblivious passerby will remain unharmed from possible injury. Creating a parallel in the 21st century, it is all too obvious how crucial it is that our pool area – a potentially risky environment – be secure. Along with creating safety parameters on our properties, it is important that we know CPR and other life-saving techniques. There is no greater deed than rescuing a person from death, and G‑d Forbid, should one of us find ourselves in a life-threatening situation, it is imperative that we have skills to cope with it.

Outlined below are a number of pool safety measures to ensure happy and safe swimming this summer.

  • Supervise! Stay close while maintaining constant eye contact and never leave a child unattended even for a second.
  • Never assume someone else is watching your child. At social gatherings, designate an adult water-watcher.
  • Barriers and fences leading to the pool or any body of water must be installed and maintained. Capabilities of toddlers change daily. Today they sit, tomorrow they crawl. Toddlers can slip through an unlocked door in the time it takes to answer the phone. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your children's reach.
  • Keep all entrances to the pool closed and locked.
  • Talk with baby-sitters about pool safety, supervision and drowning prevention.
  • Post rules such as "No running," "No pushing," "No dunking" and "Never swim alone." Enforce the rules.
  • Don't rely on swimming lessons, or air-filled "swimming aids" because they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can be dangerous.
  • Anyone watching young children around a pool should learn CPR and be able to rescue a child if needed.
  • Keep children away from pool filters, as the suction force may injure them or prevent them from surfacing.
  • Don't swim alone or allow others to swim alone.
  • Never dive into an above-ground pool and check the water depth before plunging into an in-ground pool. Keep clear of the area near a diving board.
  • Stay out of the pool during rain or lightning storms.
  • Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.
  • Check the pool area regularly for glass bottles, toys or other potential accident hazards.
  • Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren't tempted to reach for them.
  • After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they can't get back into it.

It is easy to have a false sense of security because you feel your pool area is secure. But remember, always watch your children, and be consistent and responsible about maintaining pool rules. It may just save a life.